Rescate fallido

CAMBRIDGE – Muchas prisas para gastar y mucho tiempo para arrepentirse.  Cuando los pensamientos estaban centrados en los miedos a una nueva Gran Depresión del tipo de la del decenio de 1930, los dirigentes políticos de los Estados Unidos formularon, casi de la noche a la mañana, un plan de rescate, que ascendía a 700.000 millones de dólares, para resucitar el sector financiero del país, que estaba desinflándose rápidamente, pero igualmente asombroso resulta que las bases de diputados de la Cámara de Representantes de los EE.UU. lo hayan rechazado... al menos de momento. Tal vez su escepticismo no careciera de fundamento.

La ocurrencia fundamental del plan era la de que el ingenio gubernamental podía desentrañar el embrollo de las hipotecas de riesgo, que asciende a un billón de dólares, pese a que los propios científicos lumbreras de Wall Street han fracasado completamente al respecto. Además, se nos había dicho que el Gobierno era tan listo, que hasta habría podido obtener beneficios económicos de todo el asunto. Podía ser, pero convenía no olvidar que gran número de profesionales muy inteligentes del sector financiero pensaban lo mismo hasta hace muy poco.

Tan sólo hace un año, los Estados Unidos tenían cinco grandes bancos de inversión independientes que ocupaban la cima de su potente sector financiero. Colectivamente, sus empleados compartían el año pasado más de 36.000 millones de dólares en primas gracias a los enormes beneficios que esas entidades “ganaron” con sus arriesgadas y audaces estrategias de negocio. Esas estrategias suelen entrañar mucho más riesgo –y complejidad– que las actividades de los bancos comerciales tradicionales.

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